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Kevin Costner inspired Gene Hackman to fall in love with acting again

Gene Hackman was falling out of love with the world of acting before Kevin Costner stepped in. Here's how he made Hackman love making the best movies again.


When he isn’t out saving the Yellowstone ranch, Kevin Costner is apparently saving the acting industry too — as he encouraged Gene Hackman to fall in love with acting again after the pair worked together on the 1987 movie No Way Out.

No Way Out is widely considered by critics to be one of Kevin Costner‘s best movies, outside of the Western genre. One of the best thriller movies of the ’80s, No Way Out follows navy officer Tom Farrell (Costner) after he is tasked by Defence Secretary David Brice (Hackman) with investigating the murder of Susan Atwell (Sean Young). Only, both Brice and Farrell were romantically involved with Atwell, and Farrell discovers that Brice is the one responsible for her death.

During an interview with the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, Cosnter recounted an insightful conversation he had with Hackman while on the set of the film.

“So, I’m walking out to my car and Gene’s walking out to his car, and Gene says, ‘Hey, can I talk to you?'” the Yellowstone cast member recalls.

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“[Hackman] said, ‘You know, I watched you today and I’ve gone through a divorce not three years ago, and I’ve been doing a lot of shitty movies and I’ve been trying to pay for this divorce and didn’t feel about acting the way I’ve felt, you know for a long time. [But] I watched you today. I used to feel like that. And I was really happy to see you do that.'”

Then, Costner added, Hackman got into his car and drove off. “It was an important moment for me because I had been thinking about this script a lot,” he continued. Maybe more than people that were making it. And it was a moment where I thought [Gene] was going to hand me my head and I was gonna just listen to it. But he didn’t, no. He went to that place that was respectful to me, and I never forgot it.”

Now, go see our Yellowstone timeline, all the Yellowstone series ranked, and the best Yellowstone characters.